Press Release
November 7, 2006


The Senate trade and commerce committee underscores the need to study the pluses and minuses of JPEPA very carefully and assess its impact on various sectors.

"Based on the results of this first hearing, the reported benefits, though they appear theoretical, are in the agriculture and services sector. I use the word theoretical because the Agreement includes subsequent impositions and conditions for their entry. In the case of our nurses and caregivers, they must be fluent in the Japan ese language, both oral and written, and must pass a national examination written in Japan ese."

"Our reported concessions to Japan include the opening up of our domestic industries, particularly in manufacturing, to competition from well-established Japan ese companies. These concessions entail real costs to our domestic economy that our local manufacturers and their workers need to be more fully aware of."

"Under this Agreement, the Philippines will allow the entry of Japan ese-made cars, appliances and other industrial goods that would compete with our own local manufacturers. In return, Japan agrees to open its doors to a limited number of Philippine products and Filipino health professionals. The committee has requested industry representatives to submit their assessment on how the lowering of tariffs and entry of Japan ese cars, appliances, fruits and other products will affect their respective sectors."

"Will actual job losses result from this Agreement as compared to the theoretical benefit of having our nurses and caregivers overcome the accreditation process before they are allowed to work in Japan? This primordial question will be answered once the inputs from the private sector and civil society shall be processed by the committee."

"Regarding the entry of waste materials, we shall rely on legal experts and opinions on whether the provisions on waste materials will prevail over our existing environmental laws and regulations."

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